When you think about Type A people, words like competitive, workaholic, achievement-oriented, stressed, and impatient generally come to mind in comparison to Type B’s who are usually thought to be easygoing, social, patient, and even-tempered.
So I’m sure you can imagine my reaction when my therapist first recommended that I start journaling. I casually just said OK but on the inside I was agitated and did an eye roll and thought to myself, who really has time to sit around putting thoughts and feelings in a notebook? I have real stuff to do.
You see, I am pretty much your typical Type A – always working on achieving something and usually plagued with stress because of it. I’ll admit, its hard out out here for us Type A’s and some of our greatest strengths can also bite us in the ass at times.
My therapist thought I could benefit from going through the process of getting my thoughts on paper. All I could think about was how much stuff goes through my head on any given day and how quickly I could see myself buried under a mountain of notebooks by the time I got all the stuff that’s usually in my head on paper. Journaling just didn’t sound like a good idea. Seemed like too much paper and too much time.
At the top of the fourth quarter of 2019, I was officially having a whole Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life crisis and desperately wanted to change so much about my life but didn’t really know how or where to start. I was already attending therapy, being really introspective, reading a lot of personal development and inspirational books, thinking about areas of my life I wasn’t happy with, what I wanted to improve and simply what I wanted my life to look like going forward. From everything to career, relationships, friendships, spiritually, physically, financially, community – the whole nine. Your girl was in need of a full life overhaul and desperately was looking to try anything to help change the things I was fed up with.
I started to think about my therapist and her journaling suggestion again wondering if it was really a thing that could actually help me. I mean, I had always heard people talk about it online and have a few friends who journal, but the idea just seemed so foreign to me. Like how does one go about this whole process, what would I write about, and where would I even start. My life in my eyes was a hot mess.
Putting my reluctance to journaling aside, I started to think about how I might possibly be able to leverage the upside of my Type A personality to make this journaling thing work. Us Type A’s believe in doing things efficiently because we hardly have any time to waste. So while I knew there was not a notebook in the world that could help me organize all the buckets of my life, I did come to the conclusion that I could benefit from the process of journaling itself.
So my Type A went into activation mode. I started methodically planning like us Type A’s do and thinking about how I could get into journaling. As someone who gets down with #teampaperless, I knew a physical notebook for a journal was not an option. I’m a lawyer and deal with my fair share of paper on any given day. So keeping up with a paper journal was a hard no for me. I came up with the idea to try journaling digitally. I decided to use the content management platform WordPress as my journal. But before you start judging me, let me explain why.
I needed to focus my journal on my life as whole; I needed a place to go deep – I mean wayyyyyy down into all my life buckets that were depleted; I needed to get my life organized so digital seemed like best way to go. I’ll admit, if you are technologically-challenged, then WordPress can be a bit of a monster as a beginner. I’d become somewhat of a WordPress ninja from using the platform on a decent number of side projects in the past, so it made sense for me.
I decided I would focus on organizing my digital journal around the key areas of my life that are important to me by giving them their own categories. That way I would have a way to organize my journal entries around the various parts of my life I was dealing with at any given time. And being in digital form, I could use it on the go and privately with an app without anyone really knowing what I was doing or looking out of place whipping out a notebook all the time. I know, talk about Type A at its finest. You’re probably asking yourself who is that concerned about organizing their journal for crying out loud? Let’s not be quick to judge though.
For me, journaling means one part getting things out of my head, but equal parts being able to hold myself accountable and being able to look back and see my progress and growth. Journaling for me has become a way to document my journey of transformation as I work on becoming the person I want to be and creating the life I want to live.
So if you have made it this far, then I also just let you in on how SandrasDiary.com actually came into fruition. I initially had no intention of sharing any part of my journal and intended it to stay private forever. You usually won’t find me getting too deep and personal anywhere you find me online. I’ve lived the majority of my life only showing people the best packaged version of myself that I could present at all times. As a matter of fact, trying to be so perfect in every way imaginable is a lot of what got me here in my corner of the world wide web in the first place. It became exhausting constantly trying to be who I thought everyone needed me to be or wanted me to be. So much so that I lost myself in the midst of it all.
So this is me in my most authentic imperfect form actually sharing my journey with you via my digital journal. What I hope you take from this is that there is power in sharing your story first and foremost for yourself, but also with the world when you are ready. It’s your truth and no one can fault you for it. If anything it can only help because there are more people than not going through something similar. The process of documenting my journey is truly therapeutic for me to say the least and will honestly be a life long process. I enjoy and love my life, even while its a bit messy and I am still putting the pieces back together.
I am glad I took the time to revisit my therapist’s recommendation to start journaling. It may not look like what I thought journaling was suppose to look like (remember the pile of notebooks I said I saw myself under) and that’s ok. I’ve been able to find what works for me to start the process of getting out of my head and into my heart by releasing what I am going through and having a safe space for it. I have been carrying a lot, and my journal has saved my life.
Life is tough, and we all need support in multiple forms. I would honestly encourage anyone to maintain a journal in a format that works best for you as a way to release and cope with all the good, the bad and the ugly that life may throw your way.
What’s been your experience with journaling? Sound off in the comments and let me know.